For patients like Vicki, outpatient services at Central Adelaide’s Local Health Network allow her to receive consistent care without having to be admitted into hospital.
Vicki lives with a complex autoimmune condition known as scleroderma, but is able to maintain her quality of life through outpatient appointments.
“This disease has touched every avenue of my life, but I feel really safe and secure with the holistic care I’m receiving.”
“My specialists organise regular routine testing and are proactive in helping me stay on top of my health,” Vicki said.
A vital part of quality healthcare
More than 1.3 million outpatient appointments are conducted each year through CALHN hospitals and clinics.
For CALHN rheumatologist Dr Sam, outpatient services are a vital part of quality healthcare.
“The beauty of rheumatology is that we provide such a good outpatient service that people rarely have to be admitted any more,” said Dr Sam.
A reduced need for inpatient care in rheumatology is the result of many factors, including early diagnosis, early treatment, escalation of treatment intensity when appropriate and the availability of highly-effective therapies.
“This has resulted in a more efficient and patient-centred model of care,” Dr Sam said.
Safe, holistic outpatient care
Through appointments with Dr Sam, other specialists and rheumatology nurse Heather, Vikki says she can manage her health effectively.
Vicki lives in regional SA, and travels to Adelaide about twice a year to attend outpatient appointments at TQEH and the RAH. In between those times, CALHN staff work with Vicki and her local GP via phone and email to ensure she receives continuous world class care.
“Dr Sam and the other specialists communicate with my GP and me to ensure we’re all on the same page, and to keep all my medications up-to-date,” said Vicki.
“They’re so accommodating in organising all my appointments to eliminate multiple trips, and to reduce interruptions to my work.”
Vicki’s appointments and medical records are all on the system, which makes it easier for her than trying to remember everything.
“I take my medications and I attend my appointments so I can get on with work and enjoy my life with my family,” Vicki said.
“I couldn’t be happier with my healthcare team. I’m so grateful to be walking this journey with them.”